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Universal Journal of Educational Research 5(11): 2026-2036, 2017 
DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2017.051119 


http://www.hrpub.org 


Science Instruction through the Game and Physical 
Activities Course: An Interdisciplinary Teaching Practice 


Celal Boyraz*, Gokhan Serin 


Faculty of Education, Anadolu University, Turkey 


Copyright©2017 by authors, all rights reserved. Authors agree that this article remains permanently open access under the 
terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License 


Abstract The purpose of this study was to examine the 
effect of science instruction given through the game and 
physical activities course in accordance with 
interdisciplinary teaching approaches on students’ science 
achievement and retention. The participants were 82 third 
grade students from a public elementary school. Three 
classes were chosen as experimental groups and one class 
was chosen as a control group in the school. The instruction 
period lasted for five weeks in all groups. The data were 
collected by an achievement test and an education portal 
achievement (EPA) test. The pretest-posttest control group 
design was used in the study. Data obtained from the tests 
were analyzed through one-way analysis of variance and 
post-hoc analyses. The findings indicated that some of the 
experimental groups were more successful than the control 
group with large effect sizes. The results suggested that the 
game and physical activities course incorporating 
interdisciplinary teaching approaches could be used in 
increasing students’ science achievement and retention of 
science knowledge. 

Keywords Interdisciplinary Teaching, Science 
Education, Game and Physical Activities, Elementary 
School, Achievement 


1. Introduction 

Physical education is a critical part of learning. Movement 
experiences have many benefits for children. They exercise 
the whole body, including the mind and not just the muscles; 
the exercise can help the children to develop a lifetime desire 
for health, fitness and success in all areas of academic 
learning [1]. Beyond that, for children, movement is 
certainly joyous. Moreover, studies of how young children 
learn have proven that they especially acquire knowledge 
experientially—through play experimentation, exploration, 
and discovery. Today’s emerging research on the brain 
shows this to be true that there is indeed a link between 
moving and learning [2]. Movement allows children to be 


more confident of their own skills, while contributing to their 
success because of their self-confidence and self-respecting 
experience. In this context, physical education in primary 
school level is a very important course for the cognitive 
development of children, because children can learn other 
disciplines such as science, mathematics, social science, 
language, art and music through physical education. 

It is possible to have some scientific experience through 
physical education, which is the subject of this paper. It is 
necessary to implement interdisciplinary teaching in order to 
benefit from these possibilities. Interdisciplinary teaching 
has been applied to physical education in subject areas such 
as science, reading, dance and art [3-4]. The value of 
interdisciplinary teaching in physical education is that it 
enables children to use their strengths and existing 
knowledge, which may encourage children who are not as 
easily engaged in physical activities to participate more 
actively [5]. In this regard, it is stated that there is a need for 
an interdisciplinary teaching environment in which students 
are equipped with theoretical knowledge through 
extracurricular activities, and which can be implemented in a 
class considering individual differences, or outside the class 
[3]. This is because interdisciplinary teaching is an approach 
that tells us to focus on the problem by bringing together our 
knowledge and skills in the solution of problems 
encountered in daily life [6]. In other words, the problems 
that is encountered is tried to be solved by using together all 
pieces of knowledge gained without questioning how much 
mathematics, physics or geography is needed to solve such 
problems. As teaching students multifaceted thinking skills, 
interdisciplinary teaching provides them more real-life like 
learning environments [7]. Therefore, it is thought that 
interdisciplinary teaching approach can be beneficial for 
experiential science education that has equivalence in real 
life. In the literature, it is suggested that there is a need for 
interdisciplinary learning environments that enables 
practicing learned science concepts in the class or outside the 
school [4-8-9-10-11]. Based on this suggestion, in this study, 
an interdisciplinary learning environment was designed from 
the perspective of the game and physical activities course 
that has an important place for elementary school students in 



Universal Journal of Educational Research 5(11): 2026-2036, 2017 


2027 


a way that is fun, experiential, active and that can associate 
the concepts of the science course to daily life, and the 
effects of this environment was examined. 

Game and Physical Activities (GPA) Course and Science 
Education 

The GPA course is conducted in elementary school since 
2012, in Turkey. This course is game based physical 
education. The GPA course can be argued to be one of the 
most natural ways for putting science principles and 
concepts into practice. This is because the GPA course 
naturally includes cases of desire to play games, enjoying 
games, and being physically active, which are observed 
intensely in elementary school children. Besides, most of 
elementary school children's time passes with games and 
moving around. 

From the perspective of children's development areas, 
games are of great important as well. Games are positively 
related to children's cognitive, psychomotor, social, affective 
and language development areas [12]. In addition, games 
create a valuable learning atmosphere for children. While 
playing games, their attention, interest, curiosity and desire 
are all automatically active, and their imagination and 
creativity develop. Games enable children to learn basic 
science concepts whereas giving them the opportunity to 
express their feelings and energy freely [13]. 

Even if the information is presented to students by 
establishing connections from students' daily life in a way 
that attracts their attention, it is not usually possible for 
children to experience those pieces of information. However, 
science subjects include many activities that are actually 
experienced in daily life. In the literature, there are studies in 
which science subjects such as force and motion, muscle and 
skeletal structure, the Newton laws, simple machines, and 
operation of body systems are taught by means of physical 
activities. In these studies, it is seen that the science teaching 
based on physical activities is usually done using the basic 
arguments of the physical education course 
[9-10-11-14-15-16-17]. In other words, science teaching was 
done through characteristics of physical skills such as in 
volleyball, football, or jumping. These studies were 
conducted mostly at middle school and high school levels. 
Besides, in this study, considering that science teaching 
merely based on physical activities would be far from fun at 
elementary school level, an interdisciplinary science 
teaching was designed by using games in the science course 
in accordance with the content of the GPA course. This 
aspect stands out as the difference of this study from others in 
the literature. In this way, it is thought that an active, 
participating, fun and real-life like science teaching could be 
presented to children of elementary school age as the period 
in which they need physical activity at most. Moreover, in 
the literature, there was no clear explanation on when to 
introduce science concepts while students engage with the 
GPA, i.e. before the GPA, during the GPA, or after the GPA. 
For this reason, in this study, we aimed to develop three 


treatments that take into account timing of introduction of 
science concepts while students conduct the GPA. In this 
regard, the research question addressed in the study was 
"What is the effect of three types of science instruction done 
with an interdisciplinary teaching approach based on the 
GPA course on students' academic achievement in science 
and retention of science knowledge?" 

2. Method 

Research Design 

The study was designed based on the pretest-posttest 
quasi-experimental model with a control group. It was 
conducted within the scope of the unit "Let's Learn About 
Force" included in the elementary 3rd grade science course 
in the 2014-2015 school year. 

Population and Sample 

The population of the study is the third grade elementary 
students aged about nine years old in §arhoyiik education 
zone of the Tepeba^i District Directorate of National 
Education in Eski^ehir province in Turkey. This education 
zone generally has students with medium and low academic 
achievement. There are eight elementary schools in this 
education zone. Four of these schools were not included in 
the population because they provided education in 
multi-grade classes, and the remaining 4 schools and 361 
third grade students in 16 classes in these schools were 
determined as the accessible population. All third grades in 
four classes in one of these elementary schools selected 
through convenience sampling method constituted the 
sample of the study (n=82) that was nearly 23% of the 
accessible population. The distribution of the students based 
on groups and gender is presented in Table 1. In the table, the 
groups in which the science concepts were taught at the 
beginning of, during, or at the end of the activities were listed 
as "Experiment 1", "Experiment 2", and "Experiment 3", 
respectively. 


Table 1 . Distribution of participants based on groups and gender 


Groups 

Male 

Female 

Frequency (/) 

Percentage (%) 

Control 

7 

ii 

18 

22.0 

Experiment 1 

8 

14 

22 

26.8 

Experiment 2 

7 

14 

21 

25.6 

Experiment 3 

7 

14 

21 

25.6 

Total 

29 

53 

82 

100.0 


The socioeconomic level of the families in this population 
was generally low. The environment of the students can be 
described as the suburban area. Considering the variables of 
the study, and the school administrators' and teachers' 
statements, there was no sign of a difference revealed 




2028 


Science Instruction through the Game and Physical Activities Course: An Interdisciplinary Teaching Practice 


between the students in the sample and those in the rest of the 
population. Therefore, it can be argued that the findings 
obtained with the sample can be generalizable to the 
population. On the other hand, the practices in the 
experimental groups were implemented in the school garden 
with a basketball hoop and lines, and different game 
materials. The generalizability of the results to the 
population can only be valid if these physical conditions are 
met. 

Pilot Study 

A pilot study was conducted before the actual 
implementation to see the functioning of the activities. In the 
pilot study, which aimed to teach the unit "Let's Learn about 
Force" of the third grade science course based on the GPA 
course, eight game-based physical activity plans were firstly 
prepared, and applied with 36 students. It was observed that 
the emphasis of competition is important in preparing this 
kind of activities, and game rules should be easily 
comprehended by students. Another important feedback 
received from the pilot study was that students do not want to 
continue the lesson in the class after playing outside to talk 
about science concepts. The new activities and lesson plans 
used in the actual implementation were designed in light of 
these pieces of feedback. 

Data Collection Tools 

Achievement Test 

A multiple-choice pretest consisting of 16 items and a 


posttest with the same number of items parallel to this pretest 
were developed to be used in the pilot study with regard to 
the outcomes of the unit "Let's Learn about Force" in the 
third grade science course. These tests were employed to see 
whether the activities applied in the pilot study contributed to 
the students' learning. The questions were enriched with 
examples from daily life. A new 16-item achievement test 
was formed based on the feedback received from the students 
related to the 32 items in total used as pretest and posttest in 
the pilot study in terms of question root, intelligibility of 
options, and easiness/difficulty. This test was administered 
to 152 elementary 3rd graders for validity and reliability 
analyses. ITEMAN, an item and test analysis program was 
used to analyse each item. As a result of the analyses, the 
Cronbach's Alpha reliability coefficient was found as 0,69. 
The item difficulty mean was 0,51 and the item 
discrimination mean was 0,53. Following the analyses, it was 
decided to revise some of the items. One item was discarded 
because of its low item difficulty level. The alternatives of 
one easy item were revised so that its difficulty level would 
be increased. The stem and alternatives of three difficult 
questions were revised in order to make their difficulty level 
medium. Consequently, the multiple-choice achievement 
test consisting of 15 items was finalised. The test was 
examined by a physics education expert in terms of scientific 
accuracy by means of the table of specifications in Table 2, 
and its content validity was ensured. It was used as the 
pretest, posttest, and retention test, which was administered 
six months after the posttest, without any change. 


Table 2. Table of specifications for the achievement test 




Outcome Level 


Question 


Topic Knowledge 

Comprehension 

Application Analysis Synthesis 

Evaluation 

Percentage (%) 

Total(f) 

Acceleration, 

Deceleration, 

Turning, 

Swinging and 

1 



26.6 

4 

Deflection 

Push and Pull 




26.6 

A 

Forces 

z 




Force, Push and 

-3 



26.6 

A 

Pull Forces 

Moving and 

D 





stopping 

objects 

4 



20 

3 




Universal Journal of Educational Research 5(11): 2026-2036, 2017 


2029 


The numbers shown in Table 2 under the title outcome 
level are the numbers assigned to the outcomes (see Table 6). 
The Cronbach's Alpha value, and item difficulty and item 
discrimination mean values for the pretest, posttest and 
retention test are presented in Table 3. Accordingly, it can be 
argued that the achievement tests were reliable, and the items 
were discriminatory [18]. It can be stated that the test was 
difficult in the pretest administration, whereas it was easy in 
the posttest and retention test administrations. This is 
expected as a result of instruction. A sample question from 
the achievement test is given in Table 4. 


Table 3. Item and reliability values for the achievement pretest, posttest 
and retention test 


Achievement 

Test 

Cronbach's 

Alpha 

Item Difficulty 
Mean 

Item 

Discrimination 

Mean 

Pretest 

,66 

,53 

,55 

Posttest 

,62 

,77 

,53 

Retention 

,63 

,74 

,62 


Table 4. Sample questions from the achievement and EPA tests 


Test 

Sample question 

Achievement 

test 

If we let a supermarket car downhill, what kind of 
motion does it have? 

A. Motion with increasing speed 

B. Motion with decreasing speed 

C. Swinging motion 

EPA Test 

Which one of the following have a motion with 
increasing speed? 

A. A bus approaching the bus stop 

B. A ship approaching the port 

C. An airplane taking off 


Educational Portal Achievement Test (EPA test) 

In the control group, a web-based educational portal, 
which was free for all teachers, was frequently used for 
lecturing and various assessment practices. Since this portal 
included end-of-unit tests, a new test, called the EPA Test, 
including 15 multiple-choice items was prepared by the 
researchers by selecting questions from these tests, and its 
content validity was ensured through an examination in 
terms of scientific accuracy by means of the table of 
specifications presented in Table 2. The purpose of using this 
test was to see the level of achievement across the 
experimental groups in the end-of-unit tests appeared in the 
instructional materials of the control group. In this way, an 
alternative step was taken against a possible bias by the 
researchers in favour of the experimental groups in the 
process of developing the achievement test. It was decided to 
administer this test to all groups after the instruction and as a 
retention test six months later. The Cronbach's Alpha value, 
and item difficulty and item discrimination mean values for 
the EPA tests are presented in Table 5. 


Table 5. Item and reliability values for the EPA tests 


EPA 

Cronbach's 

Alpha 

Item Difficulty 
Mean 

Item 

Discrimination 

Mean 

Post-Instruct 

ion 

,60 

,68 

,45 

Retention 

Test 

,67 

,79 

,48 


Based on these values, it can be stated that the test was 
reliable, discriminatory and slightly easy [19]. The test was 
actually expected to be easy because it was administered 
right after the students finished the unit. A sample question 
from the EPA test is given in Table 4. 

Experimental Procedure 

The treatment developed in this study was to teach 
students science through an interdisciplinary approach with 
the help of the GPA course. Three strategies were generated 
to deliver the treatment in the experimental groups. The 
difference between the strategies was the timing of 
introduction of science concepts while students conduct 
GPAs. The classes 3-A, 3-C and 3-D were the experimental 
groups, while the class 3-B was the control group. Each class 
was taught by only one elementary school teacher who are 
responsible to teach many courses. The teachers voluntarily 
decided which group (experimental or control) they will be. 
Based on which strategy the experimental groups would be 
taught was determined by random selection. Accordingly, it 
was planned that the science concepts would be presented 
during the activities in 3-A, at the beginning of the activities 
in 3-C, and at the end of the activities in 3-D. The GPA-based 
experimental procedure and the control group instruction 
were implemented only in the science course hours that were 
three hours in a week. The experimental procedure lasted in 
five weeks. Before the treatments, students were given the 
achievement test as a pretest. After the treatments, students 
were administered the achievement test and the EPA test as 
posttest. Six months later those tests were administered as a 
retention test. Different teachers in each class would possibly 
affect or change the target treatments because of their 
personal or professional characteristics. In order to minimize 
this effect, before the implementation, the teachers of the 
experimental groups were told in detail how the lessons 
would be delivered on sample lesson plans. Any confusion 
that the teachers had was eliminated. On the other hand, the 
teacher of the control group was asked to deliver the lessons 
as usual. Moreover, all classes were observed by an observer 
through completing a checklist in order to see if the teachers 
followed their lesson plans or done different things apart 
from the lesson plans due to their characteristics. Thus, we 
were able to understand if the teacher characteristics 
interfered with the treatments. 






2030 


Science Instruction through the Game and Physical Activities Course: An Interdisciplinary Teaching Practice 


Developing Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans 

When the third grade curricula of the science and GPA 
courses were examined, it was seen that the outcomes of the 
unit "Let's Learn about Force" in the science course, and 
those of the GPA course were compatible. These outcomes 
are presented in Table 6. 

In the literature, the interdisciplinary teaching approach 
does not have a single understanding. Particularly within the 
scope of integrated curriculum, the term 'interdisciplinary' is 
frequently used as a curriculum model [19- 20-21]. In this 
study, it is thought that student outcomes related to force and 
motion can be taught to students through the GPA course 
based on Placek and O'sullivan's [22] idea of focusing on 
other disciplines from the perspective of physical education. 
Accordingly, the outcomes presented in Table 6 were 
included in 12 game-based physical activities. 

The outcomes were integrated to the games from simple to 
complex. After this step, each plan was prepared separately 
for each experimental group. In other words, for a science 
lesson that would be delivered through a game, three lesson 
plans using different strategies in each experimental group 
were prepared. A total of 36 lesson plans were used in the 
procedure. The names of the games, their sources, science 


outcomes and implementation times are presented in Table 7. 

Outcome 4, which is "Students discuss the dangers caused 
by moving objects in daily life", was included in all lesson 
plans. This is because of the possibility of students' 
encountering a dangerous situation due to the nature of the 
GPA course any time. As a matter of fact, there were some 
slightly dangerous situations in the implementation, and the 
teachers emphasized this outcome. 

Instructional Procedure 

The teacher in the control group (3-B) taught the class as 
what the science curriculum states. There was no 
researcher-made treatment in the control group. In this 
regard, the control group teacher started to present the topic 
with the course book. She then completed the instruction 
using the web-based education portal. During teaching, 
modules such as animations, puzzles, interactive activities, 
and experiment videos were used. Then, the students again 
did the interactive activities included in the education portal. 
Whereas the teacher mostly used the education portal for 
presenting the topic and evaluation questions, she assigned 
the students to answer the evaluation questions in the 
workbook at home. 


Table 6. Student Outcomes of the science unit "Let's Learn about Force" and the GPA course 


Outcomes of the science unit "Let's Learn About Force" 

Outcomes of the GPA Course 

1. Students observe moving entities and notice their motion 
characteristics. 

1. Students make movements with increased agile. 

2. Students discover that push and pull are forces. 

2. Students make movements with increased accuracy by using 
awareness of body surface area, and movement relationships. 

3. Students explain the concept of force by observing the effects of push 
and pull forces on objects at rest and moving. 

3. Students make movements that require control over objects with 
increased accuracy by using awareness of surface area, effort and 
movement relationships. 

4. Students discuss the dangers caused by moving objects in daily life. 

4. Students develop movements that require control over objects. 

5. Students explain the elements that pose a risk for themselves and their 
peers in games and physical activities with reasons. 


Table 7. Names of games, sources, outcomes and implementation dates 


Name of the game 

Source 

Science Outcomes 

Implementation time 

l.Stop 

Traditional 

1 and 4 

Week 1 

2.Run Fast 

Curriculum 

1 and 4 

Week 1 

3. Dodgeball 

Traditional 

1 and 4 

Week 1 

4.Lamb and Wolf 

Researchers 

1,2 and 4 

Week 2 

5.Lamb and Sheep 

Researchers 

1,2 and 4 

Week 2 

6.Rabbit Race 

Researchers (Adaptation) 

1, 2 and 4 

Week 2 

7.Tug of War 

Traditional 

1,2, 3 and 4 

Week 3 

8.Seven Towers 

Traditional 

1,2, 3 and 4 

Week 3 

9.Scored a Goal! 

Researchers 

1,2, 3 and 4 

Week 3 

lO.Flying Saucer 

Researchers (Adaptation) 

1,2, 3 and 4 

Week 4 

11 .Turkish Baseball 

Researchers (Adaptation) 

1,2,3 and 4 

Week 4 

12. Swinging Balloon 

Researchers 

1,2, 3 and 4 

Week 4 

13. Flying Saucer 

Researchers (Adaptation) 

1,2, 3 and 4 

Week 5 

14. Turkish Baseball 

Researchers (Adaptation) 

1, 2, 3 and 4 

Week 5 

15. Swinging Balloon 

Researchers 

1, 2, 3 and 4 

Week 5 





Universal Journal of Educational Research 5(11): 2026-2036, 2017 


2031 


The 12 activities designed for the experimental groups 
were implemented as one activity for each of the 12 lessons 
in the first four weeks. At the end of the four weeks, the 
students were asked to name three of the game-based 
physical activities that they liked most, and these three 
activities were implemented again in the fifth week. 

In the experimental group (3-C) in which concepts were 
taught at the beginning of the activities, the teacher firstly 
presented the science concepts to directly the students 
gathered in the school garden. She then divided the students 
into groups depending on the type of the activity. She asked 
the students who could detect the concept presented at the 
beginning within the game to inform her during the game. 
These steps took nearly five minutes. The game then started 
with the teacher having a referee role. After the game that 
lasted about 25 minutes, the teacher asked the students to 
gather around in a circular shape. The teacher, who was in 
the middle of the circle, asked the students the questions 
included in the lesson plan and wanted them to answer these 
questions. For instance, the students were asked the question 
"What moves a frisbee?", and were expected to give the 
answer "force". The duration for this question-answer step 
was set as 10 minutes, and afterwards, the lesson was 
completed. 

In the experimental group (3-A) in which the concepts 
were taught during the activities, the game started after the 
game rules were told. During the game, the teacher paused 
the activity by means of a referee's whistle at the point when 
a concept was experienced, and the students were asked 
questions related to this concept in the lesson plan. The 
teacher taught the concept based on the students' answers and 
the event that came up during the game, and the game 
continued where it was left. After 30 minutes, the teacher 
informed the students that the game ended by using the 
whistle, and asked them to gather around him. In the last 10 
minutes of the course, the teacher summarized the science 
concepts included in the game, and gave the students the 
opportunity to ask questions and give similar examples, and 
the lesson ended. 

In the experimental group (3-D) in which the science 
concepts were taught at the end of the activities, the teacher 
launched the game after informing the students about the 
rules. The game continued for nearly 25 minutes without any 
interruption. In the meantime, the teacher acted as the referee 
of the game. After the game, the teacher blew the whistle and 
asked the students to gather around her, and did direct 
teaching related to the science concepts for five minutes. 
Afterwards, she asked the students questions included in the 
lesson plan such as whether a science concept could be 
spotted in the game. The question-answer part lasted about 
10 minutes, and the lesson ended. 

Implementations in both the control and experimental 
groups were lasted in five weeks. The basic difference 
between the teaching of the control group and the 
experimental groups was the teaching environment. This is 
because the experimental groups attended the lessons in the 
school garden, whereas the lessons of the control group were 


in the classroom environment. Besides, in the experimental 
groups, game-based physical activities and materials related 
to these were used in every lesson. This was not the case in 
the control group where instructional materials were mainly 
based on the web-based education portal and the course 
book. 

Data Analysis 

In the achievement test and the EPA test, each correct 
answer was given one point. The maximum score was 15 
points, and the minimum was zero points in these tests. After 
the pretest, posttest and retention test scores of the 
experimental groups and the control group were obtained the 
mean scores of the groups and other descriptive statistics 
were calculated. To examine whether the data showed a 
normal distribution, Shapiro-Wilks normality test, skewness 
and kurtosis coefficients, histogram, and box plot were used. 
As a result, the data belonging to two students that violated 
the normality were excluded from analysis. The number of 
students included in the analysis was 82. 

One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted 
to make between-groups comparisons based on the pretest, 
posttest and retention test results. The data showed that the 
assumptions of ANOVA were met. Post hoc tests were then 
used to identify between which groups there were 
statistically significant differences as a result of ANOVA. To 
reveal the effect size of the significant differences between 
the groups, Cohen's d value was calculated. The significance 
level was taken as .05 in the study. In the statistical analysis, 
SPSS 21 (Statistical Package for Social Sciences 21) was 
used. 

Internal Validity 

According to Fraenkel, Wallen & Hyun [23], “internal 
validity means that observed differences on the dependent 
variables are directly related to the independent variable and 
not due to some other unintended variable”. In this regard, 
the possible threats that can come out with respect to the 
design of the study, which are the characteristics of subjects, 
mortality, attitudes of subjects, testing effect, history effect, 
implementation effect, implementer effect and maturation, 
were at the lowest level in this study. This is because the 
students who participated in the study were selected from the 
same socioeconomic level and achievement level, there were 
no loss of subjects throughout the process, and the students 
were exposed to activities towards the same outcomes on the 
same day. Besides, each group was included in the process 
with its own elementary school teacher. Experimental group 
teachers had no professional experience on the method they 
used that could provide an advantage during the 
implementation. On the other hand, the use of instillments as 
pretest, posttest and retention test in the study can be seen as 
a threat. The reason is that the change in the students' scores 
in the second and even the third administration of the test can 
be due to their having taken the test before. However, the fact 
that the control group answered the same test in the same 
time span reduces this threat. 



2032 


Science Instruction through the Game and Physical Activities Course: An Interdisciplinary Teaching Practice 


3. Results 

Findings of the Achievement Test 

The mean scores and standard deviations for the achievement pretest, posttest and retention tests are presented in Table 8. 


Table 8. Descriptive statistics of the achievement pretest, posttest, and retention test scores 



Number of 
subjects 

Pretest 

Posttest 

Retention Test 

Groups 

n 


sd 


sd 

X 

sd 

Control 

18 

8,33 

2,16 

10,44 

1,54 

10,33 

1,08 

Experiment 1 

22 

8,05 

2,95 

11,14 

1,81 

12,63 

1,78 

Experiment 2 

21 

8,29 

3,43 

12,29 

1,82 

12,76 

1,54 

Experiment 3 

21 

7,38 

2,78 

12,14 

2,03 

12,28 

1,73 


*Maximum score is 15 points. X '• Arithmetical mean; sd: Standard deviation 


Findings of the Achievement Pretest 

One-way analysis of variance for independent samples was conducted to test whether there was a significant difference 
between the means of the groups. The results of this analysis are presented in Table 9 


Table 9. ANOVA results of the achievement pretest 


Source of Variance 

Sum of Squares 

sd 

Mean of Squares 

F 

P 

Between-groups 

11,807 

3 

3,936 

0,469 

.705 

Within-groups 

654,193 

78 

8,387 



Total 

666,000 

81 





As can be seen in Table 9, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups based on the achievement 
pretest, F(3,78)=0.469, p>.05. Based on this result, it can be stated that all the groups that participated in the study were equal 
in terms of their prior knowledge related to the unit "Let's Learn about Force". 


Findings of the Achievement Posttest 

One-way analysis of variance for independent samples was conducted to test whether there was a significant difference 
between the means of the groups after instruction. The results of this analysis are presented in Table 10. 


Table 10. ANOVA results of the achievement posttest 


Source of Variance 

Sum of Squares 

sd 

Mean of Squares 

F 

P 

Partial r|2 

Force 

Between-groups 

44,498 

3 

14,833 

4,486 

.006 

.147 

.87 

Within-groups 

257,892 

78 

3,306 





Total 

302,390 

81 







The results of the analysis showed that there was a significant difference between science achievement of the groups, F(3, 
78)—4.486, p<.05, iq 2 =. 147. The partial eta-squared value indicated that the effect size was large (Green, Salkind & Akey, 
2000). In addition, the statistical power value was .87, which is above the acceptable value (.80) in the literature. According to 
the results of the Bonferroni test conducted to determine between which groups the observed differences occurred (see Table 
11), the science achievement of the experimental groups in which science concepts were taught during and at the end of the 
activities were significantly higher than that of the control group. 


Table 11. Bonferroni test results of the achievement posttest 



(I)Group 

(J) Group 

Mean difference (I-J) 

Standard error 

P 



Experiment 1 

-,69192 

,57790 

1,000 

Bonferroni 

Control 

Experiment 2 

-1,84127* 

,58406 

.014 



Experiment 3 

-1,69841* 

,58406 

.028 


The mean is significant at the level of .05. 











































Universal Journal of Educational Research 5(11): 2026-2036, 2017 


2033 


Cohen's d values were calculated to interpret the effect size of the means that were found to be significant. Accordingly, it 
was found as d=0.95 for the control and Experiment 2 groups, while it was d—0.87 for the control and Experiment 3 groups. 
Based on the criteria for interpreting the Cohen's effect size, the observed effect sizes were large in favour of the experimental 
groups. 

Findings of the Achievement Retention Test 

One-way analysis of variance for independent samples was conducted to test whether there was a significant difference 
between the means of the groups in the achievement retention test administered six months after the instruction. The results of 
this analysis are presented in Table 12. 


Table 12. ANOVA results of the achievement retention test 


Source of Variance 

Sum of Squares 

sd 

Mean of Squares 

F 

P 

Partial rf 

Force 

Between-groups 

72.375 

3 

24.125 

9,641 

.000 

.270 

.99 

Within-groups 

195.186 

78 

2.502 





Total 

267.561 

81 







As is seen in Table 12, there was a significant difference between the groups in terms of their retention levels six months 
after the unit "Let's Learn About Force" was covered, F (3,78)=9.641, p<.05, rf= .270. Besides, the effect size was large, and 
the statistical power of the test was considerably high. According to the results of the Bonferroni test conducted to determine 
between which groups these differences occurred (see Table 13), the achievement retention scores of the experimental groups 
in which science concepts were taught at the beginning of, during and at the end of the activities were significantly higher 
than those of the control group. 


Table 13. Bonferroni test results of the achievement retention test 



(I)Group 

(J) Group 

Mean difference (I-J) 

Standard error 

P 



Experiment 1 

-2,30303* 

,50276 

.000 

Bonferroni 

Control 

Experiment 2 

-2,42857* 

,50812 

.000 



Experiment 3 

-1,195238* 

,50812 

.001 


The mean is significant at the level of .05. 


Cohen's d values were calculated to interpret how far the group means dispersed from each other, and it was found as 
d=1.27 for the control and Experiment 1 groups, d=l .33 for the control and Experiment 2 groups, and d=1.07 for the control 
and Experiment 3 groups. Based on the criteria for interpreting the Cohen's effect size, the effect sizes were large in favour of 
the experimental groups. 

Findings of the EPA Test 

The means and standard deviations for the EPA test administered at the end of the experimental procedure and six months 
after are presented in Table 14. 


Table 14. Descriptive statistics of the EPA test 



Number of subjects 

Post-Instruction Test 

Retention Test 

Groups 

n 

X 

sd 

2f 

sd 

Control 

18 

11.33 

1.33 

11.55 

1.08 

Experiment 1 

22 

10.95 

1.62 

12.59 

1.78 

Experiment 2 

21 

11.81 

1.54 

13.19 

1.54 

Experiment 3 

21 

11.86 

1.31 

12.07 

1.73 


Findings of the EPA post-instruction test 

One-way analysis of variance for independent samples was conducted to test whether there was a significant difference 
between the groups. The results of this analysis are presented in Table 15 





































2034 


Science Instruction through the Game and Physical Activities Course: An Interdisciplinary Teaching Practice 


Table 15. ANOVA results of the EPA post-instruction test 


Source of Variance 

Sum of Squares 

sd 

Mean of Squares 

F 

P 

Between-groups 

11.724 

3 

3.908 

1,828 

.149 

Within-groups 

166.764 

78 

2.138 



Total 

178.488 

81 





As is seen in Table 15, there was no statistically significant difference between the experimental groups that received 
science instruction integrated with the GPA course, and the control group, F(3,78)=1.828, p>.05. 


Findings of the EPA Retention Test 


One-way analysis of variance for independent samples was conducted to test whether there was a significant difference 
between the groups. The results of this analysis are presented in Table 16. 

Table 16. ANOVA results of the EPA Retention Test 


Source of Variance 

Sum of Squares 

sd 

Mean of Squares 

F 

P 

Partial q 2 

Force 

Between-groups 

26.375 

3 

8.812 

4,093 

.009 

.136 

.83 

Within-groups 

167.953 

78 

2.153 





Total 

194.390 

81 







As is seen in Table 16, there was a significant difference between the groups in terms of their retention levels, F 
(3,78)=4.093, p<.05, i] 2 = .136. The effect size was close to being large, and the statistical power was above 0,80. According to 
the results of the Bonferroni test conducted to determine between which groups this difference occurred (see Table 17), the 
retention scores of the experimental groups in which science concepts were taught during the activities were significantly 
higher than those of the control group. 


Table 17. Bonferroni test results of the EPA retention test 



(I)Group 

(J)Group 

Mean difference (I-J) 

Standard error 

P 



Experiment 1 

-1.03535 

,46637 

.176 

Bonferroni 

Control 

Experiment 2 

-1,63492* 

,47134 

.005 



Experiment 3 

-,82540 

,47134 

.503 


The mean is significant at the level of .05. 


Cohen's d value was calculated to interpret the effect size 
of the difference between the group means, and it was found 
as d=1.05 for the control and Experiment 2 groups. Based on 
the criteria for interpreting the Cohen's effect size, it can be 
stated that there was a large difference between the means in 
favour of the group Experiment 2. 

4. Discussion, Results and Suggestions 

This study investigated the effect of science teaching 
conducted with an interdisciplinary teaching approach 
through the GPA course on students' academic achievement 
in science and retention of science knowledge. The analyses 
showed that it positively affected the students’ science 
achievement. This result is consistent with those reported in 
Flatch and Smith [8], Placek and Patton [9], Werner [10], Yi 
[11], Buchanan et al. [14], Flastie [15], Provost [16], and 
Seeds, Pollom and Burton [17]. While these studies 
presented science concepts to students through physical 
education skills, the current study presented these skills to 
students through gamification, which is a difference on 
behalf of this study. An example is the game "Turkish 


Baseball" that can develop students' skill of hitting the ball 
with a racket. Similarly, the game "Rabbit Race" is an 
activity towards developing students' skill of jumping. One 
way of implementing these practices effectively can be doing 
physical activities through gamification. 

Another issue examined in the study was the timing of 
introduction of science concepts associated with the GPAs. 
The experimental group in which the science concepts were 
taught during the activities was more successful in science 
achievement than the other experimental groups. According 
to Piaget [25], third grade students (9 years old) participated 
in the study are in the stage of concrete operations in which 
the child is not capable of dealing yet with propositions or 
abstract conceptions. From this point of view, it can be 
argued that students in the experimental group two learned 
science concepts simultaneously when they appeared in the 
GPAs would be more successful than the other experimental 
groups in which students were introduced science concepts 
before or after the GPAs that might probably makes science 
concepts abstract for the students due to the time interval 
between presentation of concepts and their appearance in the 
GPAs. 

In case the achievement test developed by the researchers 






Universal Journal of Educational Research 5(11): 2026-2036, 2017 


2035 


had a bias for the experimental groups, the EPA test was also 
administered in accordance with the instruction followed in 
the control group. The finding that the students in the 
experimental groups did not perform lower than those in the 
control group in the EPA test administered after the 
implementation can be interpreted as the success of the 
science instruction based on the GPA course. At the same 
time, the GPA-based science instruction also contributed to 
the students' retention levels as shown in the achievement 
and EPA retention tests. 

In order to balance the duration of instruction in the 
control and the experimental groups, the experimental 
groups received the GPA-based instruction only in the 
science course. It can be argued that if teachers normally use 
other teaching approaches in science lessons, they can 
achieve more effective science instruction when they use the 
GPA course with the approach adopted in this study. 

Based on the results of the study, it can be suggested for 
elementary school teachers who aim to teach science in an 
experiential, entertaining and active environment to use the 
GPA course in accordance with the interdisciplinary 
teaching approach. Guide booklets including lesson plans 
and information for teachers on how to use game materials, 
game rules, and games should be prepared in order to easily 
put GPA-based science instruction into practice. In this 
respect, there is a need to develop an inventory showing the 
overlap between the concepts in the games and science. 
Alternative materials should also be available in the case of a 
possible setback that can be encountered in GPA-based 
science instruction. For example, in this study, a Frisbee was 
stuck on a tree in the school garden during the game "Flying 
Saucer". At that moment, a spare Frisbee was used to be able 
to continue to the activity. Students can encounter minor 
accidents (e.g. crashing into each other, falling down while 
running) during the play in the school garden. In this regard, 
practitioners should be careful and take the necessary 
measures. 

The model implemented in this study to integrate the unit 
"Let's Learn about Force" of the science course with the GPA 
course can also be used to integrate other units of the science 
course in further studies and its effectiveness can be tested. 
In addition, conducting studies towards the usability of the 
science and GPA courses with integration to other 
disciplines can provide opportunities to present both the 
science and the GPA course more effectively to students. 


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